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The fourth annual Politics and Computational Social Science (PaCSS) conference will take place virtually August 9 – 13 between 11 am – 3 pm EDT. Register now at The registration fee of $20 will help us cover conference expenses. We are dedicated to keeping this conference open and accessible and we ask that you email us at if you would like to request a registration waiver.

  11am-12pm EDT12pm-1pm EDT1pm-2pm EDT2pm-3pm EDT
Mon. Aug 9Room AWelcoming remarks
and plenary by
Joshua A. Tucker
Room BCross-PartisanshipSocial Media
Tues. Aug 10Room APolitical TalkEmotion, Stance & NarrativePolitical Media
Room BClimate & EnvironmentCOVID-19Validity & Modeling
Wed. Aug 11Room ABusiness MeetingMultimodal MediaHate & ToxicityPanel on
Non-Academic Careers
Room BGender BiasIdentity & Ideology
Workshop (Room C)Infograffi (2 hour workshop)
Thurs. Aug 12Room AAttention & AmplificationMedia Control
& Manipulation
Political CommunicationMentoring Session
Room BAlt-MediaModelingLanguage
Fri. Aug 13Room AResearch ToolsMisinformationSocial Media SharingClosing remarks and plenary by
Ceren Budak
Room BFact CheckingPolitical NetworksInternational Relations


Monday, 11 am – 12 pm EDT
Plenary Room: Welcoming remarks and plenary by Joshua A. Tucker

View recording (password required)

(The Importance of) Using Computational Social Science to Inform Public Understanding in the Digital Information age — and What We Need to Keep Doing It!
Professor Joshua Tucker, co-Director of the NYU Center for Social Media and Politics (CSMaP), will share work from a variety of recent research projects at CSMaP that inform current debates around how to measure and respond to social media’s impact on politics, including crowd-sourced fact checking, YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, the impact of Russian electoral interference attempts on Twtter, and Facebook’s impact on ethnic polarization. He will also discuss the importance of data access for public facing scientific research, both for general scientific advancement as well as for understanding social media’s impact on politics.

Joshua A. Tucker is Professor of Politics, affiliated Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies, and affiliated Professor of Data Science at New York University. He is the Director of NYU’s Jordan Center for Advanced Study of Russia, co-Director of the NYU Center for Social Media and Politics, and a co-author/editor of the award-winning politics and policy blog The Monkey Cage at The Washington Post. His research focuses on the intersection of social media and politics, including partisan echo chambers, online hate speech, the effects of exposure to social media on political knowledge, online networks and protest, disinformation and fake news, how authoritarian regimes respond to online opposition, and Russian bots and trolls. He is the co-Chair of the independent academic advisory team for the 2020 Facebook Election Research Study, serves on the advisory board of the American National Election Study, the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, and numerous academic journals, and was the co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Experimental Political Science. His most recent books are the co-authored Communism’s Shadow: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Political Attitudes (Princeton University Press, 2017), and the co-edited Social Media and Democracy: The State of the Field (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

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Monday, 12 pm – 12:50 pm EDT
Room A: Protests
(View recording)

Conservative “Riots” and Liberal “Solidarity”: Detecting Bias in #BlackLivesMatter Protest Coverage with Supervised Machine Learning
Marisa Smith (she/her/hers), Michigan State University; Katherine Haenschen, Northeastern University

Evolution and Bias: News Portrayal of Civil Unrest in Hong Kong, 1998-2020
James Scharf, Johns Hopkins University; Giovanna Maria Dora Dore (She/her/hers), Johns Hopkins University; Arya McCarthy, Johns Hopkins University

Does Climate Protest Influence Political Speech?
Christopher Barrie, University of Edinburgh; Thomas Fleming, University of York; Sam Rowan, Concordia University

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Monday, 12 pm – 1 pm EDT
Room B: Cross Partisanship
(View recording)

Cross-Partisan Discussions on YouTube: Conservatives Talk to Liberals but Liberals Don’t Talk to Conservatives
Siqi Wu (he/him/his), University of Michigan; Paul Resnick, University of Michigan

Sincere or Motivated? Biased Advice-taking from Co-Partisans vs Counter-Partisans
Yunhao Zhang (they/them/theirs), Massachusetts Institute of Technology; David G. Rand, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Political Value of the Non-Political Media: Revisiting the News-Entertainment Divide
Chloe (Jae-Kyung) Ahn (She/her/hers), University of Pennsylvania; Shengchun Huang (she/her/hers), University of Pennsylvania

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Monday, 1 pm – 2 pm EDT
Room A: Deliberation
(View recording)

How Partisan is Local Politics? A View from Public Meeting Videos (paper)
Soubhik Barari (he/him/his), Harvard University; Tyler Simko, Harvard University

Democratic Debates in Multilingual Online Spaces: Political Deliberation on Spanish- and English-language News Organizations’ Facebook pages
Lea Hellmueller (she/her/hers), University of Houston; Lindita Camaj, University of Houston; Peggy Lindner, University of Houston

Athletic Democracy
William Minozzi (he/him/his), Ohio State University; Michael A. Neblo, The Ohio State University; Lauren Ratliff Santoro, University of Texas, Dallas; Anand E. Sokhey, University of Colorado, Boulder; David M.J. Lazer, Northeastern University

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Monday, 1 pm – 2 pm EDT
Room B: Social Media and Politics
(View recording)

Are Populist Parties More Popular on Social Media? Evidence from Twitter and Facebook, 2010-2020
Thomas Davidson (he/him/his), Rutgers University; Jenny Enos, Rutgers University

Syrian refugee migration and return on social media.
Erin Walk (she/her/hers), Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Kiran Garimella, MIT; Fotini Christia, MIT

Modeling Framing in Immigration Discourse on Social Media
Julia Mendelsohn (she/her/hers), University of Michigan; Ceren Budak, University of Michigan, David Jurgens, University of Michigan

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Monday, 2 pm – 3 pm EDT

This informal networking session will allow attendees to connect and chat informally in small groups. Sessions will take place Wonder (link in email to participants), a web-based platform which allows participants to move around freely and chat in small groups with others. Suggested topical clusters will help participants connect with others who share similar interests.

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Tuesday, 11 am – 12 pm EDT
Room A: Political Talk
(View recording)

Political Discussion is Abundant in non-political Subreddits (and Less Toxic)
Ashwin Rajadesingan (he/him/his), University of Michigan; Ceren Budak, Paul Resnick

Training and validating supervised machine learning classifiers for political discussion quality
Kokil Jaidka (she/her/hers), National University of Singapore

A ‘blue wave’ on Twitter? How legacy media shaped the digital discourse about the 2020 U.S. election
Saif Shahin (he/him/his), American University

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Tuesday, 11 am – 12 pm EDT
Room B: Climate and Environment
(View recording)

Citizen environmental governance: reconstructing through network analysis the dynamics of the social movement in the Páramo de Santurbán (2010-2021)
Gabriel Villalobos-Camargo (he/him/his), Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano ; Andrea Franco-Correa, Universidad de la Salle, Bogotá; Ana Sofía Sarria Arévalo, Universidad de la Salle, Bogotá

Perpetuating climate change as a distant problem on YouTube
Alexandra Segerberg (she/her/hers), Uppsala University; Matteo Magnani, Uppsala University

“Implanted Labels”: Web Searches and Climate Change Beliefs
Yifei Wang (he/him/his), Cornell University

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Tuesday, 12 pm – 1 pm EDT
Room A: Emotion, Stance, & Narratives
(View recording)

Measuring emotions and other concepts in texts: A new approach to lexicon generation
Maurits van der Veen (he/him/his), William & Mary

Fine-grained and Issue-driven Stance Detection
Indira Sen (she/her/hers), GESI; Fabian Flöck, Katrin Weller, Claudia Wagner (all at GESIS)

Social Media Narratives on Conflict from Northern Syria
Erin Walk (she/her/hers), Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Kiran Garimella, MIT; Elizabeth Parker-Magyar, MIT; Ahmet Akbiyik, Harvard Kennedy School; Fotini Christia, MIT

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Tuesday, 12 pm – 1 pm EDT
Room B: COVID-19
(View recording)

Statistically Validated Indices for COVID-19 Public Health Policies (paper)
Robert Kubinec, New York University Abu Dhabi; Joan Barcelo; NYU-Abu Dhabi; Rafael Goldszmidt, Getulio Vargas Foundation; Vanja Grujic, University of Brasilia; Timothy Model, Fors Marsh Group; Caress Schenk, Nazarbayev University); Cindy Cheng, Technical University of Munich; Thomas Hale, University of Oxford; Allison Spencer Hartnett, University of Southern California; Luca Messerschmidt, Technical University of Munich; Anna Petherick, University of Oxford; Svanhildur Thorvaldsdottir, Technical University of Munich

Assessing the Offline Risk of COVID-19 from Online Misinformation in the United States
Xian Teng (she/her/hers), University of Pittsburgh; Yu-Ru Lin, University of Pittsburgh; Ching-Chung Chen, National Sun Yat-sen University, Siqi Wu, University of Michigan, Lexing Xie, Australian National University

Sentinel approach for monitoring online COVID-19 misinformation
Matthew Osborne (He/Him/His), The Ohio State University; Joseph Tien, The Ohio State University; Erik C. Nisbet, Northwestern University; Robert Bond, The Ohio State University; Sam Malloy, The Ohio State University; David King, The Ohio State University; Rod Abhari, Northwestern University

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Tuesday, 1 pm – 2 pm EDT
Room A: Political Media
(View recording)

Controllable Text Generators for Political Communication Online on Twitter
Jakob Richi (he/him/his), ETH Zürich; Elliott Ash, ETH Zürich

The Other 98%: Exposure to and Effects of Political Content Beyond News
Magdalena Wojcieszak (she/her/hers), UC Davis, U of Amsterdam; Sjifra de Leeuw, Ericka Menchen-Trevino, Bernhard Clemm von Hohenberg

Co-Exposure Networks to News on TV, the Web, and YouTube (2016-2019)
Tian Yang (he/him/his), University of Pennslyvania; Sandra González-Bailón, University of Pennsylvania

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Tuesday, 1 pm – 2 pm EDT
Room B: Validity & Modeling
(View recording)

Towards More Reproducible and Meaningful Computational Social Science
Jason Burton (he/him/his), Birkbeck, University of London; Ulrike Hahn, Birkbeck, University of London; Nicole Cruz, University of New South Wales

Temporal Validity
Kevin Munger (he/him/his), Penn State University

Networks All the Way Down: Assessing Modeling Choices for Socio-Semantic Networks of Political Dialogue
Sarah Shugars (they/she), New York University

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Tuesday, 2 pm – 3 pm EDT
Poster session

This virtual poster session will provide an informal space for participants to share and discuss their work. The session will take place Wonder (link in participant email), an online platform allowing participants to move about freely. Click on a poster title below to view that poster or view all posters

Do Enfranchised Immigrants Affect Political Behaviour?
Apurav Yash Bhatiya, University of Warwick

An Analysis of the Partnership between Retailers and Low-credibility News Publishers
Lia Bozarth (she/her/hers), University of Michigan

Road to the White House: Analyzing the Relations Between Mainstream and Social Media During the U.S. Presidential Primaries
Aaron Brookhouse (he/him/his), Michigan State University

Modeling US State Legislators on Twitter
Ishita Gopal (she/her/hers), Pennsylvania State University

Computational Communication Science through Keywords
Heesoo Jang (she/her/hers), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Attention to the COVID-19 pandemic on Twitter: Partisan differences among U.S. state legislators
Taegyoon Kim (he/him/his), Pennsylvania State University

Global depolarization: Correcting overly negative group meta-perceptions across 26 countries
Jeffrey Lees (he/him/his), Clemson University

Watching the Birdwatchers: Examining the helpfulness of crowdsourced fact-checking on Twitter
Cameron Martel (he/him/his), MIT

Right-wing populism and the rise of internationalism in Europe
Nina Obermeier (she/her/hers), Cornell University

Political Campaigning in Immigrant Minority Communities in the United States during the 2020 Presidential Elections
Anmol Panda (he/him/his), University of Michigan

Users’ behavior and crowdsourced elites in the Spanish Twittersphere during the first wave of Covid-19
Luce Prignano (she/her/hers), University of Barcelona

Understanding the Spread of Misinformation on Social Media –The Effects of Topics and a Political Leader’s Nudge
Xiangyu Wang, University of Iowa, Min Zhang, Weiguo Fan, Kang Zhao, University of Iowa

Reply and Reaction: How Interactive Features Regulate Communication Dynamics on Social Media
Alvin Zhou (he/him/his), University of Pennsylvania

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Wednesday, 11 am – 12 pm EDT
Plenary Room:
PaCSS Business Meeting (View recording)

David Lazer will facilitate this open discussion about the future of PaCSS and the goals of this burgeoning community. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Graduate students and junior scholars are especially encouraged to attend (even if this is your first PaCSS!) — your voice and perspective matter and are valued for this discussion! If you were unable to make the meeting but would like to share your ideas and feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out at

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Wednesday, 12 pm – 1 pm EDT
Room A: Multimodal Media
(View recording)

FBAdLibrarian and Pykognition: Open Science Tools for the Collection and Emotion Detection of Images in Facebook Political Ads with Computer Vision
Michael Bossetta (he/him/his), Lund University; Rasmus Schmøkel, University of Copenhagen

Identifying Election Activity through Candidate Names and Images in Online Ads
Markus Neumann, Wesleyan University; Jielu Yao, Wesleyan University; Pavel Oleinikov, Laura Baum, Erika Franklin Fowler (all Wesleyan University); Mike Franz, Bowdoin College; Travis Ridout, Washington State University

Images with Texts: Multimodal Framing Analysis of Online News Coverage on the European Refugee Crisis
Seo Eun (Sunny) Yang (she/her/hers), Ohio State University

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Wednesday, 12 pm – 1 pm EDT
Room B: Gender Bias
(View recording)

Meet the Press: Gendered Conversational Norms in Televised Political Discussion
Daniel Naftel (he/they), Ohio State University; Jon Green, Northeastern University; Kelsey Shoub, University of South Carolina; Jared Edgerton, Ohio State University; Mallory Wagner, Ohio State University; Skyler Cranmer, Ohio State University

The (Great) Persuasion Divide? Gender Disparities in Debate Speeches and Evaluations
Huyen Nguyen (she/her/hers), Erasmus University Rotterdam & University of Hamburg

Assessing the Impact of two Feminist Interventions on Wikipedia’s Gender Divide
Isabelle Langrock (she/her/hers), University of Pennsylvania; Sandra González-Bailzón, University of Pennsylvania

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Wednesday, 12 pm – 2 pm EDT
Room C: Workshop
(2 hours):
Infograffiti – Practical Exercises in Data Visualization to Extract Emerging Narratives (View recording)

Alyssa Smith, Dr. Layla Hashemi, Dr. Amy Magnus, Temitayo Osinubi Adeola, Chase Buttery
This two hour workshop will spotlight powerful data visualizations that reflect the emergence of influential narratives and track their reach & effect. Visualizations will merge elements from graffiti and infographics, organizing around reformational content with demonstrative emotional and social impact. Activities will focus on political discourse in the context of marketing and provide hands-on explorations of emergent structure and visualization using Reddit and Python. The workshop consists of three components: marketing, practical exercise on data collection and visualization and a discussion on data structures. 

The workshop’s marketing segment will address the role of big tech companies in shaping political discourse through amplification methodologies. Next, the practical exercise will invite participants to visualize social media data using Python, allowing them to walk away with skills in data analytics that inform their research. Facilitators will lead participants in extracting data from Reddit threads of their choice, fora also known as sub-Reddits. Further, we will provide targeted code scaffolding to aid participants in downloading the Reddit data, stepping through preliminary analysis, and getting to know what their data looks like. Finally, workshop participants will be invited to synthesize what they’ve learned and showcase their own data storytelling. 

This workshop will be of particular interest to researchers who perform cross cultural studies. The data structure component will include non-English and English examples. Workshop facilitators will demonstrate how different cultural narratives flip and how native forms of agency are expressed as well as the inherent limitations/biases of English-based methods/models. 

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Wednesday, 1 pm – 2 pm EDT
Room A: Hate & Toxicity
(View recording)

Offline Events and Online Hate
Richard Sear (he/him/his), George Washington University; Rhys Leahy, George Washington University; Yonatan Lupu; Nicolas Velasquez, Nicholas Johnson, Neil Johnson (all George Washington University); and Beth Goldberg, Google LLC

Discussions of the January 6th Capitol Riots on Reddit and Twitter
Yotam Shmargad (he/him/his), University of Arizona

Banned: How Deplatforming Extremists Mobilizes Hate in the Dark Corners of the Internet
Tamar Mitts (she/her/hers), Columbia University

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Wednesday, 1 pm – 2 pm EDT
Room B: Identity & Ideology
(View recording)

Constructing Ideological Space within Reading: Estimating Political Ideology through the Consumption of Books in China
Zhengyi Liang (they/them/theirs), Shenzhen University; Naipeng Chao, Shenzhen University

Does Social Influence Shape Online Political Expression?
Andy Guess (he/him/his), Princeton University; Will Schulz, Princeton; Pablo Barberá, University of Southern California; Simon Munzert, Hertie School; JungHwan Yang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Adam Hughes, Aaron Smith, Emma Remy, and Sono Shah (Pew Research Center)

Online Presentation of Self in Repressive Contexts: An Analysis of Persian Twittersphere Profile Images
Layla M. Hashemi (she/her/hers), George Mason University and Montgomery College; Steven L. Wilson, Brandeis University, Constanza Sanhueza Petrarca, WZB Berlin Social Science Center

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Wednesday, 2 pm – 3 pm EDT
Plenary Room:
Panel on Non-Academic Careers (View recording)

This conversational panel discussion will focus on careers beyond academia. Featuring:

Monica Lee, Facebook
Stan Oklobdzija, UC Riverside School of Public Policy, formerly California YIMBY
Gonzalo Rivero, Pew Research Center

Moderated by Ishita Gopal, Pennsylvania State University

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Thursday, 11 am – 12pm EDT
Room A: Attention & Amplification
(View recording)

Online Voice, Attention, and (In)Equality in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election
Adina Gitomer (she/her/hers), Northeastern University; Sarah Shugars, New York University; Ryan J. Gallagher, Northeastern University; David Lazer, Northeastern University; Brooke Foucault Welles, Northeastern University

Signaling Power: Attention Patterns of Heterogenous Networks in the #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, and #StopAsianHate Movements on Twitter
Yini Zhang (she/her/hers), University at Buffalo

Amplification, Trolling, and Cross-partisanship Behavior in Pro- and Anti- Populist Movements in the Philippines during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Jose Medriano (he/him/his), Ateneo de Manila University

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Thursday, 11 am – 12pm EDT
Room B: Alt-Media
(View recording)

When Alt-Right Media Meets Alt-Right Politics. Engagement with Alternative Sources on U.S. Twitter
Maria Snegovaya (she/her/hers), Virginia Tech; Kohei Watanabe, Waseda University and the London School of Economics

Cross-Platform Effects of De-Platforming Strategies in Online Social Spaces
Cody Buntain (he/him/his), New Jersey Institute of Technology

Examining the consumption of radical content on YouTube
Homa Hosseinmardi, University of Pennsylvania; Amir Ghasemian, Aaron Clauset, David M. Rothschild, Markus Mobius, and Duncan J.Watts

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Thursday, 12pm – 1pm EDT
Room A: Media Control & Manipulation
(View recording)

Panic at the Cisco: Authoritarian Internet Shutdowns
Agabek Kabdullin (he/him), University of Rochester

Broadcasting Out-Group Repression to the In-Group: Evidence from China
Erin Baggott Carter (she/her/hers), University of Southern California; Brett Carter, University of Southern California

Social Media Bots as a Mobilization Technology: An Agent-Based Model
Denis Stukal (he/him/his), HSE University; Ilya Filippov, HSE University

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Thursday, 12 pm – 1 pm EDT
Room B: Modeling
(View recording)

A direct approach to understanding how electoral systems affect election results
Samuel Baltz (he/him or they/them), University of Michigan

Influencers Alleviate Spiral of Silence, but Levitate Public Opinion Polarization? Preliminary Observations from an Agent Based Modeling Approach
Anqi Shao (they/them/theirs), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Network Topology, Homophily and Protest Cascades: Findings from Agent-Based Modeling
Andrei Akhremenko (he/him/his), HSE University; Alexander Petrov, Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, Moscow; Ekaterina Kruchinskaya, HSE University; Sergey Zheglov, HSE University

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Thursday, 1 pm – 2 pm EDT
Room A: Political Communication
(View recording)

Wanderers or Diggers? The Structure of News Navigation Networks across Ideologically Diverse Sources
Alvin Zhou (He/him/his), University of Pennsylvania; Tian Yang, University of Pennsylvania; Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, University of Pennsylvania

A Pair of Large-Scale Digital Field Experiments Reveal Large Effects of Friend-to-Friend Texting on Voter Turnout in the 2018 and 2020 US Elections
Aaron Schein (he/him/his), Columbia University; David Blei, Columbia University; Donald P. Green, Columbia University

Influence Among Political Actors on Twitter with Adaptive Directed Information
Laura Moses (she/her/hers), The Ohio State University

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Thursday, 1 pm – 2 pm EDT
Room B: Language
(View recording)

Analytics for Policy: International Law for Cyber Operations
Nazli Choucri, MIT; Gaurav Agarwal, MIT

Out of One, Many: Using Language Models to Simulate Human Samples
Lisa P. Argyle, Brigham Young University; Ethan Busby, Brigham Young University; Nancy Fulda, Brigham Young University; Joshua Gubler, Brigham Young University; Christopher Rytting, Brigham Young University; David Wingate, Brigham Young University

Identical twins use similar language in open-ended survey responses
Leah Windsor (she/elle/ella), The University of Memphis/Institute for Intelligent Systems; Dr. Alistair Windsor, The University of Memphis; Pete Hatemi, Penn State University

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Thursday, 2 pm – 3 pm EDT
Mentoring Session

Held on the interactive Wonder platform (link in email to participants), this session will be an opportunity for small group discussion with outstanding computational social scientists. This session is open to all and *no* advanced registration or preparation is required. To participate, simply show up in the Wonder room at the start of the session and find the mentor of your choice. There are no fixed topics or discussion questions, but to help you identify mentors with aligned interest and expertise we’ve included some potential topics below. Mentors for this session are:

Pablo Barberá, Facebook and University of Southern California
Potential topics: bridging academia and industry; industry careers

Thomas Davidson, Rutgers University
Potential topics: academic job market, summer internships

Katherine Haenschen, Northeastern University
Potential topics: academic job market

Yu-ru Lin, University of Pittsburgh

Potential topics: navigating interdisciplinary

Zachary Neal, Michigan State University
Potential topics: navigating the publication process, navigating interdisciplinarity

Gonzalo Rivero, Pew Research Center
Potential topics: non-academic careers

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Friday, 11 am – 12 pm EDT
Room A: Teaching Students to Find the Right Tools for their Research
(View recording)

Daniela Duca and Amy Sparrow, Sage Publishing
In this 1-hour session, we want to discuss the pain points and challenges around teaching students to work with research methods software and to find the right tools for their own research projects. We will first share how we are tracking a list of more than 500 tools and software packages, the type of information we’ve collected, talk through key insights we’ve learned while trying different approaches to searching through this list and subsections of this list. And then we’d like to explore the questions and points around helping or guiding your students find the right software and the challenges you’ve had over the past year especially teaching with software online.

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Friday, 11 am – 12 pm EDT
Room B: Fact Checking
(View recording)

Perverse Downstream Consequences of Debunking
Mohsen Mosleh (he/him/his), University of Exeter / MIT; Cameron Martel, MIT; Dean Eckles, MIT; David Rand, MIT

Comparing Covid-19 fact-check usage across political communities on Twitter
Shijun Ni (they), Hong Kong Baptist University; Moon Nguyen, Hong Kong Baptist University; Ruifeng, Qie, Hong Kong Baptist University; Yunya, Song, Hong Kong Baptist University

Automatic Reason-checking for Fake News Detection
Muheng Yan (he/him/his), University of Pittsburgh; Muheng Yan, Yu-Ru Lin, Diane Litman

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Friday, 12 pm – 1 pm EDT
Room A: Misinformation
(View recording)

How Group Identity Polarizes Public Deliberation on Controversial Science: Examining Public Discourse on GMO Misinformation and Counter-Narratives from a Popular Q&A Platform in China
Kaiping Chen (she/her/hers), University of Wisconsin-Madison; Anqi Shao, Yepeng Jin, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Propagation of the QAnon Conspiracy Theory on Facebook
Soojong Kim, Stanford University; Jisu Kim, Yale Law School

Rally Around the Tweet?: The Russian State, Disinformation, and the Ukraine Crisis
Sean Norton (he/him/his), UNC Chapel Hill

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Friday, 12 pm – 1 pm EDT
Room B: Political Networks
(View recording)

Is the US House a Parliament? Finding hidden coalitions by optimally partitioning signed political networks
Samin Aref (he/him/his), Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research; Samin Aref, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research; Zachary P. Neal, Michigan State University

Using Social Network Analysis (SNA) to analyze Stakeholder Participation in Policy Networks
Michelle Katchuck (she, her), University of Regina

Comparative Elite Networks in the Arab World
Omer Yalcin (he/him/his), Pennsylvania State University

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Friday, 1 pm – 2 pm EDT
Room A: Social Media Sharing
(View recording)

Curation Bubbles: Domain Versus URL Level Analysis of Partisan News Sharing on Social Media
Stefan McCabe (he/him/his), Northeastern University; Jon Green, Northeastern University; John Harrington, Northeastern University; Sarah Shugars, New York University; David Lazer, Northeastern University

Which News Goes Viral? Measuring Identity Threats and Engagement with News Media Posts on Twitter and Facebook
Sam Wolken, University of Pennsylvania; Yphtach Lelkes (he/him/his), University of Pennsylvania; Dan Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania

How Do Recommendation Algorithms Minimize Users’ Online News Exposure? An Audit Study of YouTube
Shengchun Huang (she/her/hers), University of Pennsylvania

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Friday, 1 pm – 2 pm EDT
Room B: International Relations
(View recording)

Domino Effect: When Do Recruit Social Networks Exacerbate Fragmentation?
Margaret Foster (she/her/hers), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Social Network of Russian “Kompromat”
Dmitry Zinoviev (he/him/his), Suffolk University

Polarization and Power in Milosevic’s speeches
Tessa Murphy (she/they), University of Memphis; Leah Windsor, University of Memphis

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Friday, 2 pm – 3pm EDT
Plenary Room:
Closing Remarks and Plenary by Ceren Budak (View recording)

Quantifying Political Phenomena on Social Media: Challenges in Data Collection, Labeling, and Classification
Quantifying political phenomena on social media—be it political misinformation or toxicity of political talk—informs us about the health of our politics and is thus substantively important. Such quantification commonly requires three critical steps: data collection, labeling, and classification. In this talk, I will discuss how to measure political misinformation, participation in online protests, and toxicity of political talk on social media while focusing on these three steps’ role in these measurement efforts. I will at times evaluate existing work, highlighting how commonly used methods in each step can lead to misleading results and interpretations, and at times introduce new methods when existing work fails at the particular quantification task at hand.

Ceren Budak is an Assistant Professor of Information at the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Her research interests lie in the area of computational social science. She utilizes network science, machine learning, and crowdsourcing methods and draws from scientific knowledge across multiple social science communities to contribute computational methods to the field of political communication. Her work appears in conferences and journals that span disciplines such as computer science, communication, and political science; and she recently co-authored Words that Matter: How the News and Social Media Shaped the 2016 Presidential Campaign (Brookings Institution Press, 2020). She is currently serving as an Editor-in-Chief and has served as a Program Chair for the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM). Her work is supported by the National Science Foundation (through NSF: CAREER, NSF: CISE, and NSF: GCR awards), the Social Science Research Council, and the Michigan Institute for Data Science.

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About PaCSS

The data and methodologies available to social scientists have exploded with the emergence of archives of digital data collection, large scale online experimentation, and innovative uses of simulation. The analysis of these data requires more complex methodological approaches and greater computational complexity than the approaches that have dominated the study of politics for the last 50 years.

The analysis of digital data  offers the potential for rich insights into society at scale but it also introduces new ethical and infrastructural challenges. In parallel, the information and communication technologies that have driven this data revolution are also driving changes in politics, around the world, that require study.

In order to understand the political world, it is increasingly important to gain access to the political communication and behavior occurring online. PaCCS started in 2018 and offers a forum for computational social science research in this emerging space. Examples of relevant topics/approaches include: analysis of social media; text analysis; use of finely granular geographic data; and large scale online experimentation. We actively seek, welcome, and encourage people from all fields, industries, backgrounds, experiences, and identities to apply and attend.

Please email with any questions.

PaCSS 2021 is sponsored by Sage Publishing and New York University’s Center for Data Science. Thanks also to our conference organizing committee:

PaCSS 2021 is co-chaired by David Lazer and Sarah Shugars, and supported by an organizing committee of: Michael Bailey, Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Ceren Budak, Deen Freelon, Margaret Foster, Fabrizio Gilardi, Sandra González-Bailón, Layla Hashemi, Helen Margetts, Ericka Menchen-Trevino, Juergen Pfeffer, Derek Ruths, Kelsey Shoub, Alyssa Smith, Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld, Talia Stroud, Rebekah Tromble, Joshua A. Tucker, Jennifer Victor and Nora Webb Williams.

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